New Delhi: With the Indian Defence Acquisition Council clearing the issue of Request for Proposals (RFP) for the supply of 126 medium range multi role combat aircraft (MMRCA) for the Indian Air Force, Swedish company, Gripen International, one of the contenders, has indicated that it is willing to provide full transfer of technology and offer integration of its aircraft, the JAS-39, with all weapon systems available across the world.
According to reports, Gripen International has indicated to the Indian authorities that its product would be cheaper than other comparable aircraft in terms of life cycle cost, or cost of acquisition plus operations.
"We understand that life cycle of a defence aircraft in India could even extend to 40 years and that makes our position strong," says Tony Ogilvy, Gripen International's director in India. "Our aircraft are designed to last for decades and what we would offer to India is the second generation Gripen with updated facilities," he added.
"Our aircraft are suited for integration with all advanced weapon systems available in the world, including missile systems provided by the US and Israel," Ogilvy said. Ever since the recently concluded Yelahanka Aero show at Bangalore in February this year, the company has made efforts to familiarise the Indian Air Force with its aircraft.
"Training of pilots for our aircraft is simple and the time-frame depends on the role for which training is imparted," Ogilvy said.
On transfer of technology, he said that Gripen was willing to provide all the know-how for Indian defence services to carry out modifications according to its needs. This could enable Indian aerospace entities such as Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) to absorb latest technologies.
American, French and Russian companies are in the race, along with Gripen International, for the supply of multi-role combat aircraft to the Indian Air Force.